Housing sales in the lower Hudson Valley were flat to slightly lower on the year for the first quarter of 2018, according to market analysts at the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors.There were 3,595 residential sales of single-family houses, condominiums, cooperatives and two- to four-family buildings in Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and Orange counties during the quarter, marking a roughly 3 percent decrease compared with the same period last year.
Analysts noted that first-quarter sales were largely the result of transactions negotiated during the final quarter of 2017, a time that analysts called “a period of uncertainty” given the active negotiations of the Federal Tax Reform bill.
“This uncertainty could be a contributing factor, along with low inventory, to the flat sales numbers in most of the region in the first quarter,” analysts stated in their quarterly report. “Another possible dark cloud on the horizon is an increasingly volatile stock market.”
However, analysts found that with mortgage rates remaining attractive, unemployment low and economic development activity high in the region, “the prospects for another healthy year for real estate sales in the region remain bright.”
Prices continued to strengthen in all four counties across the region, while the days on market was down, “a clear indication that the continuing erosion in inventories is negatively affecting sales activity while putting upward pressure on prices,” analysts said. Inventory of single-family residences was down 7.3 percent in Westchester, 12 percent in Rockland, 21.5 percent in Putnam and 17.1 percent in Orange County compared with the first quarter of 2017.
In Westchester, the median sale price for a single-family residence in Westchester rose to $613,250 from $600,000 in the first quarter of 2017.
The county also saw an overall drop of 2.3 percent in residential sales to 1,892, while sales of single-family homes posted a decrease of 5.6 percent to 1,034 during the first quarter of 2017.
Co-op sales, meanwhile, continued to be resilient and saw an increase of 1.1 percent to 452 for the quarter.
Putnam was the only county to post an overall increase in residential sales. The figure rose 7.2 percent year-over-year to 268. The county also saw the largest percentage increase in price at 9.4 percent for a single-family home. The county’s median home price rose to $323,750 from $296,000 for the first quarter of 2017. Condominium sales in Putnam, meanwhile, fell 11.4 percent from the previous year to 31.
Rockland County experienced the largest decrease in residential sales in the region with a drop of 13.7 percent to 522 sales. The county’s single-family home sales fell 18.9 percent to 360, while median home price rose 2.4 percent to $435,000.
In Orange County, sales of a single-family residence dropped 0.5 percent, while single-family home sale prices rose to a median of $240,000, a 4.3 percent increase from the previous year.
“The median sale price of a single-family home in Orange County at the end of the first quarter of 2009 was $310,000 which likely explains why Orange County is now experiencing some of the larger percentage gains in price,” analysts said.